Tafori designing solution for invasive tree species destroying farm

12Jan 2021
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Tafori designing solution for invasive tree species destroying farm

AN invasive tree species known as Prosopis juliflora which is destroying pasture fields in Mwanga, Moshi and Simanjiro Districts has attracted the attention of environment and conservation experts who will meet as soon as possible and define a solution.

Lushoto Silviculture Research Center’s director, Dr John Mbwambo (L) talking to residents of Oria Village in Moshi Rural District during his ongoing research to find a solution to an invasive tree species which was imported in 1980s from North and Central America. Photo: Guardian Correspondent.

Tanzania Forest Research Institute will convene the meeting to discuss the invasive species which are destroying animal fodder and threatening livestock existence in Kilimanjaro and Arusha Regions where most pastoralists live.

Lushoto Silviculture Research Center’s Director, Dr John Mbwambo said in Moshi Rural District this week that the invasive weeds were imported from North and Central America in 1988 as prevent desertification but also provide fuel.

“The problem with this tree species is that it grows rapidly and in the process covers huge areas affecting other plants growing underneath including pasture for livestock,” Dr Mbwambo said adding that Tafori experts will debate and share research reports designed at finding a lasting solution to the challenge.

He said the tree species has already invaded about 20 percent of the animal fodder land in the three districts hence an urgent solution is needed to ensure that it doesn’t spread to larger areas hence threaten the ecology.

“We have many challenges which we need to discuss and find solutions as experts because the invasive tree is spreading rapidly,” he noted while noting that with funding from Swiss Development Cooperation, the project is targeting primarily the Prosopis juliflora.

Dr Mbwambo further noted that the invasive tree is also affecting farming land because of the same reason, providing extensive cover above the ground which denies crops sunshine needed for growth and to manufacture food.

“Before these trees invaded these areas, farmers and pastoralists have many animals and crops flourished well but currently, we are hearing stories of poor yields,” the LSRC Director added stressing that the four year Swiss funded project has been going on for the past four years in Oria area of Moshi Rural District and other areas...read more on https://epaper.ippmedia.com